Our passion at the Woodland Burial Company is trees.
Actually, we have lots of passions, but trees are right at the top. People often ask us which ones they can add to their nook. So, here are our Five Friday Favourites…
You can read more about Our Promise about the long term future of Granville’s Wood here. Currently, there are too many pine trees, we are slowly felling these to create a variety of items for our nooks, and replacing them with a greater variety of native species.
Like wild cherry, the spring flowers provide an early source of nectar and pollen for bees, while the cherries are eaten by birds including the blackbird and song thrush. Mammals such as the badger, wood mouse, yellow necked mouse and dormouse also enjoy it’s fruit. The foliage is eaten by caterpillars of many species of moth, however it is toxic to livestock, particularly goats.
One of the ancestors of the cultivated apple (of which there are more than 6,000 varieties), it can live to up to 100 years. Mature trees grow to around 10m in height. The leaves are food for the caterpillars of many moths, including the eyed hawk-moth. The flowers provide an important source of early pollen and nectar for insects, particularly bees, and the fruit is eaten by birds, including blackbirds, thrushes and crows. Mammals, including mice, voles, foxes and badgers also eat crab apple fruit.
Mature trees grow to a height of around 15m and can live for 60 years. The flowers provide nectar for a variety of insects and the berries are eaten by birds and mammals. Small mammals such as dormice and bank voles eat both the berries and the flowers. Many moth caterpillars feed on elder foliage, including the white spotted pug, swallowtail, dot moth and buff ermine. We can also make good use of the flowers and berries for delicious cordial and wine.
Mature trees can reach a height of 10m and live for up to 200 years. Common juniper provides dense cover for nesting birds such as the goldcrest and firecrest. It is the food plant for caterpillars of many species of moth, including the juniper carpet moth, juniper pug and chestnut-coloured carpet. A number of birds eat the berries, including the song thrush, mistle thrush and the ring ouzel.
Yew trees can reach 400 to 600 years of age! Ten yew trees in Britain are believed to predate the 10th century. Yew hedges in particular are incredibly dense, offering protection and nesting opportunities for many birds. The UK’s smallest birds – the goldcrest and firecrest – like to nest in broadleaf woodland with a yew understorey.
The fruit is eaten by birds such as the blackbird, mistle thrush, song thrush and fieldfare, and small mammals such as squirrels and dormice. The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of the satin beauty moth.
If you have a passion for trees, you might enjoy reading the stories on www.treeoftheyear.org – a celebration of European trees. You can also take part in the Digital Nature Journal, an online resource from the Natural History Museum you can access via their app, We will continue to share other Five Friday Favourites.
Do you have a favourite tree?